Even if you don’t “do” New Year’s Resolutions, the new year does require us to make some choices.
Which races or events do you want to sign up for?
Which vacation should you chose? Hike the West Coast Trail or sit on the beach in Maui?
If these are the types of decisions you are making, then you need to start planning so you can arrive at your destination ready and prepared.
Here are 5 Rules that will help with any goal – whether it is to finish the Whistler Fondo or learn how to ride a bike.
Please note they are also in order of importance….
Rule #1: Be consistent
You can’t get fast/fit/leaner in one week or even a month. It takes consistency over a minimum of three to six months before you will start to see big changes. So enjoy the journey.
Rule #2: Trust, listen and follow your coach or program
There is no sense in choosing a program or a coach if you don’t follow them. There are so many different programs to train you for any event. And everyone will have a different opinion of what works for them. You need to give your program 100% commitment before deciding if it does or doesn’t work for you.
Rule #3: Respect your rest days/weeks
This is a continuation of rule #2. If the program tells you to rest, you need to rest – even if you aren’t tired. If it tells you to train hard, you need to ask – how hard?
Don’t try to do more training than what is on the program as it ALWAYS backfires. If you have more energy, instead of training more, enjoy the rest so you can push yourself to work harder in the next workout or training week.
Rule #4: Listen to your body
After rules #2 and #3, I do need to remind you to listen to your body. Listen really really hard as it can be deceiving. If you are tired, you might benefit from taking a rest day instead of training. But if you are just feeling lazy, you need to know the difference. If you are unsure which it is, try training for ten minutes. This is usually enough to get the endorphins pumping and your laziness will disappear. If it doesn’t and you still feel unwell, it would be better to quit and take a nap instead.
Rule #5: Write down your goals and recognize your victories
Fitness progression is a slow process, so slow that most people fail to see it in themselves. As they become fitter/faster/leaner, they unconsciously alter their goals to the next level, barely recognizing how far they have come.
By writing down your goals, you can look back and celebrate the victories as you achieve them. This not only helps with motivation but it also helps keep things in perspective. We can’t all be Tour de France riders, but we can: beat last year’s time, lose 5lbs, or do 10 pull ups, whatever your goal may be.